While all of my friends were diligently applying for summer internships this past semester, I was planning out my Epic Summer Road Trip. Instead of spending the summer gaining valuable work experience or earning valuable cash, I decided to spend my savings by taking myself away from good ol’ Wyoming and into a solo road trip that I was sure to remember. I figured that this would be my last real summer to do whatever I wanted since I would (sadly) be graduating next year. After graduation, I would have to become a real adult and figure out my life. I wasn’t ready for that, so I started planning the road trip instead.
My plan was simple. Start in Wyoming and go north to Glacier National Park, then move west into Washington and work my way down the west coast to Los Angeles. My original plan was to drive through Nevada and Utah before coming home, ending my trip at two weeks, but I decided to extend my trip and see as many sights as possible.
From LA, I would drive east and hop onto Route 66, stopping at as many roadside attractions as possible before moving into Tennessee and North Carolina. From there I would drive up the east coast, popping in on Vassar before going south into West Virginia and then going west once more toward Denver. Back in familiar territory, I would then drive north back into Wyoming. In total, the trip would take about one month. One month on the road by myself. 24 states in one month. I could do it.
Ten days into my road trip, I’m completely happy with my decision. I’m currently in Southern California, about 20 minutes away from Joshua Tree National Park, which will be my first stop tomorrow morning. I’ve seen Glacier and Portland and the Redwoods and San Francisco. I drove down Big Sur. The least I’ve driven in one day, so far, is three hours. The most has been 12. I’m not one bit tired. In fact, every morning I wake up before my alarm and completely ready to get back on the road again.
Most people are surprised that I am actively choosing to spend a third of my summer alone, but I don’t see it like that. I’m seeing a lot of friends and family along the way. I’m mastering eating at restaurants by myself in between. I’m learning how to be alone in the best way possible and ignore the weird looks people give me when they catch me singing along to the radio in my car. Most importantly, though, I’m seeing America and all of the weird and beautiful things this country has to offer. Originally, I wanted to just see as many national parks as possible, but once I saw how large the trip was becoming, I decided to add as many weird and quirky roadside attractions as possible.
Going into this next leg of my trip, I’m going to hit Route 66, meaning the roadside attractions are about to get really good. Hopefully I remember to take plenty of pictures so I can post them on Instagram and Facebook. If you see a car with Wyoming plates anyway, please say hi!